Run Sausage Run! Review

Run Sausage Run! Review

Dec 28, 2017

If you ever wondered what life would be like existing as a sausage — a running sausage, that is — then maybe, just maybe, Run Sausage Run! is probably the living, breathing, playable mockumentary you need.

Yep, the premise is simple: you are a sausage that is flexible and somewhat fleet-footed. You like to run, yes, but there are plenty of hazards here. Watch your step, because you can sliced, diced, smashed or worse. rsr3

Visually, Run Sausage Run! has a simplistic, whimsical look to it, which probably helps take the edge of the, well, bloodier aspects. The animations are equally playful, with non-serious depictions and the like; even the lethal blades look genteel.

The controls are easy to master in this… the lead hotdog trots at a slow pace by default. Soon, the aforementioned obstacles begin to appear, and the game teaches you to tap the screen to allow the sausage bed backwards and simultaneously sprint faster; holding the tap keeps him bent and running. Based on how the obstacles are moving (mostly like guillotines), you can alternate between regular movement and run/ducking to avoid the dangerous items and travel further.

Very simple, no?

Outside this, the game offers powerups, and coins can be used to garner new sausage skins. It doesn’t necessarily require a bunch of real cash, and is mostly self-contained. Now, if bloody meat decapitations make you queasy, this one might give you pause.

It is quite the mindless game — and that is far from negative. It is a quick study, in that you are off and running as fast as you can figure out the quick touch control. As with most running games, distance traveled is the name of the game, and all you need to do is move far.

… and, well, avoid the dangers every sausage should be aware of. Apparently.

ECOVACS R95 — a smart cleaning experience

ECOVACS R95 — a smart cleaning experience

Dec 27, 2017

I got in on the smart home movement before it really was a defined thing. I mean, I’d love to writing about technology is the reason, but the truth is that I am a gadget freak.

As such, I have tried several items and products that were great in theory, but probably a bit too early for mass consumption at the time… at least for my usage at that time. Take robotic vacuums for instance; loved them, but my first foray into them tech aeons ago was less than satisfactory. The robots where great to watch, but weren’t especially smart, and when it was all said and done, I wasn’t opposed to just doing the deed with the trusty upright.

Things have changed. With recent changes and the maturing of the smart home, robotic vacuums are in vogue, and really useful. In fact, recent numbers suggest they are close to mainstream.

Enter ECOVACS Deebot R95, one of the latest robotic rollers from the established tech company.

It’s a weighty piece, but not unwieldy, similar in stylings to the default look we associate with robotic vacuums: flying saucer-ish, and a little thick in the waist. It has a grey finish over mostly black, and comes with a stationary charging dock. The bottom has two wheels, and other parts and pieces to help it get the job done.

The job? Cleaning your floors… duh. After the charging period, the thing calls for it to be started via the prominent “Auto” button on top. After some tinkering (which involved manually re-docking, searching for and downloading the app on Google Play, and re-staring the process via said app), I was able to get it going and simultaneously observe it in action.


Deebot uses its lasers to map out a virtual path of the room, and then proceeds to “grey” out the area as it works. I admit, I spent an unusually long time watching the virtual process on my smartphone. It attempts to go anywhere it can fit into, and deftly works around physical objects in its way. It does eat up smaller things, and can get stopped by things it cannot digest, like the errant cable. When this happens, it is not too shy to announce its inability to move, and requests that the offending material be removed manually.

As long as the area to be cleaned is reasonably free of palmable objects — more or less the same type of objects one would pre-pick prior to using a “traditional” upright vacuum — Deebot does its thing capably. The dirt receptacle is fit with a filter, and it is not the largest. It makes sense to empty it out after each cleaning, in my estimation.

One great aspect is the ability to use it on different floors. It can mop too, with the right pieces attached.

My favorite feature, beyond the app-related control, is the Amazon Alexa functionality. It is possible to get Deebot working via voice command. Pretty nifty.

A few nitpicky drawbacks… first, the dirt receptacle is relatively tiny, which explains why the manufacturer strongly suggests emptying after each use. Also, the included documentation didn’t mention the companion app, the use of which absolutely makes setup infinitely easier.

Mini Golf King Review

Mini Golf King Review

Dec 27, 2017

Yep, yep… here we have an interesting mini-golf simulation to get into: Mini Golf King.

It is a colorful game, wrought with visual effects and the requisite smooth animations. Control is effected by dragging directionally, such that the player can make the ball fly on the scenes which play in portrait orientation.

A typical level consists of virtual miniature golf setup, but with a few extras. Of course, there is the the tee off point, and then the culminating (hopefully) hole. The intuitively core idea is to get the ball from point A to point B with the least amount of strokes. The game engine selects a reasonable match from online players available, and both of you go at it to see who wins the available prize.mgk3

But this ain’t your grandmas’s putt-putt now. There are jewels all along the playing area, some bigger than others, and these garner points if your ball makes contact with them. There are also other hazards, like bunkers and more, plus mystery collectibles. Now, one thing that becomes interesting is figuring out how to use the collectibles to your advantage, or even collecting higher paying big gems. See, going for one of these does have an opportunity cost, so it pays to not eschew going for the quick win for the sake a lot of garnered points.

So, the idea is to beat folks to gain prize money and goodies. Goodies include chests which take time to open, and contain all sorts of things, from clubs to coin. Playing levels requires entrance fees, so, really, you have to win to have the money to play unlocked subsequent levels. Real cash can be used to expedite operations, and there are also other ways to gain game cash (like watching videos).

It has just enough razzle dazzle to keep its arcade card without losing its simulation status; the effects are fun and not overly gaudy, while the power-ups give is a Mario feel along the way. It is an easy, understandable game, but manages to retain a hint of unpredictability because of said specials plus the interesting layouts plus the randomized opponents.

Perfect for those holiday nights that might be colder than most.

Sweet Kitty is a match-three adventure that will give you a sugar rush

Sweet Kitty is a match-three adventure that will give you a sugar rush

Dec 18, 2017

Sweety the Kitty needs your help to become a master chef in Sweety Kitty. Created and self published by Integra Games Global OU, the adorable match-three adventure game is now available on the App Store and Google Play. Journey around a world full of colourful levels to collect recipes and help Sweety on his harrowing adventure.

Sweety Kitty features over a hundred unique levels that will see you matching delectable candies, tarts, and pies to earn a high score and complete each challenge. Travel across diverse, beautifully designed locales to collect recipes for Sweety’s recipe book, a family heirloom left to him by his Granny.

Along the way, you’ll meet up with the evil Rat, who will stop at nothing to see Sweety fail. Help Sweety protect his precious recipes by defeating the Rat in puzzle challenges that will really keep you on your toes. If you run into trouble, you can always call on your friends for help in Sweety Kitty’s multiplayer mode.

Are you ready to embark on this delectable journey? You can download Sweety Kitty right now from the App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Facebook.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Prepare for the nuclear apocalypse in 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure

Prepare for the nuclear apocalypse in 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure

Dec 15, 2017

What would you do if you only had 60 seconds to prepare your family for the pending doom of the entire world? It’s hard to imagine, but you can get some good ol’ video game practice in with 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure, Robot Gentleman’s apocalyptic indie adventure. The game is making the jump from PC to Android, and you’ll be able to test your own disaster scenarios in this dark comedy quite soon.

60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure casts you as Ted, a family man frantically scrambling to gather supplies before the nuclear apocalypse hits. You’ll need to gather your family members and enough supplies to hold you over in your fallout shelter. Ted’s house is different in each playthrough, meaning you’ll be struggling to find things in time, adding to the tension each time you return to the game.

Once you make to your shelter, however, another struggle begins. Whatever you manage to bring with you is key to your survival–the first 60 seconds of the game could determine whether you live or die. The game will throw unexpected events at you, forcing you to make tough decisions as you forge a new life in the post-apocalypse. Which of your family members get to eat the precious food rations? Will you venture outside to hunt for more? Do you answer the door when someone comes knocking? Each playthrough presents new decisions that will shape the story in fun new ways.

60 Seconds

Eager to try your hand at survival? 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure lands on Android on December 28th.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Get your online fantasy fix in Lineage 2: Revolution’s latest update

Get your online fantasy fix in Lineage 2: Revolution’s latest update

Dec 14, 2017

Putting an endcap on what is already sure to be an impressive year for mobile publisher Netmarble, a new update is gracing their chart-topping fantasy MMORPG from today. Bringing with it a wealth of gameplay tweaks and additional servers, the star of the show is the introduction of 50v50 siege battles – available now in Lineage 2: Revolution.

Pitting clans against each other in two teams of 50, Fortress Sieges act as the headline act within Lineage 2: Revolution’s end of year update. Taking place every Friday from 20:30 – 21:00 PST, the objective is to “imprint” onto the opposing team’s Holy Artefact, with many buffs and rewards awaiting those good enough to do so. Both sides can look forward to Adena, EXP, and Proof of Blood as standard, making every Fortress Siege a worthy endeavour.

Newcomers needn’t miss out on the thrill of epic online battles thanks to the addition of a new mode known as Open Siege. It plays largely the same but works by placing every participant at an equal combat power and level, meaning that acute skill and strategy is rewarded more so than sheer brawn. Player count is also limited to 30v30 without the need to be part of a clan, making Open Siege the perfect place to hone your online ability in Lineage 2: Revolution.

Those worried about the popularity of Lineage 2: Revolution’s new modes causing server strain can rest comfortably, with Netmarble introducing three new servers exclusively for North America and European. This will help ensure that players old and new that want to jump in will have the smoothest online experience possible.
There’s never been a better time to jump in, gear up, and do battle. Lineage 2: Revolution and its end of year update are live now on Google Play.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Knives Out: a first take

Here we have Knives Out, an arena survival game with MMO sensibilities.

The name of the game is, well, survival. Think of all the apocalyptic tropes you can think of (sans zombies), and splash them on in. To get warmed up, the game allows you to take part in practice simulation, which helps you master the controls. Walking, running, jumping, attacking, crouching and the like are all handled here.

Soon after, you get to pick a particular flavor of action such as a solo mission or a group effort, and parachute into a desolate area. Now, the idea is simple: gather all the goodies, like weapons, and also avoid the enemy fighters, who have the same exact design on the collectible items as you do. Being quick, thorough and cautious is seemingly the formula for success.

As you would expect, the game is chock-full of opportunity cost situations. You have limited carry space, so you do have to be choosy with regards to what you keep. Pistol? Shotgun? Pick the right tool for the job.

The game does a good job of keeping players on their feet. For instance, if you don’t wanna succumb to dangerous gas, move on quickly.


All together, it is an engaging experience — even if it still feels somewhat beta-ish. The game could probably use a better in-action information system, and refined controller/Chromecast support would make even more desirable. I am not the biggest fan of the defensive awareness aspects of the game, and some of the animations feel a bit stilted.

But if we are to assume the game will continue to see improvements and support from its developer, there really is no need to fear giving yourself a chance to get addicted to Knives Out right from the ground up; indeed, it’s a fun romp, even as-is, it’s a delightfully cool take on the arena survival sub-genre.

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

Dec 11, 2017

No matter how fast life goes, I doubt it would be so fast that we wouldn’t have time to try to catch up with everybody’s favorite hedgehog, Sonic. As our favorite masked speedster makes a bigger footprint on mobile devices, we can’t help but celebrate one of his latest iterations: Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

Not a lot of confusing stuff in this one. If you’ve ever played a Sonic game, you’ll feel right at home, with the dashing looks and zoom-zoom animations. Hey, Sonic deserves cool looks, and in this game, he and his cohorts seemingly gets what he wants. It plays in landscape, and utilizes interesting worlds and glitzy backgrounds that house wild raceways bathed in bright colors.sonic3

The action is just what we’s expect: you against random opponents, and race for pints. The raceways are chock-full of helpers and hindrances, so its important to figure out which is which. It feels a lot like three-laned runners, because you have to swipe up/down and right/left to avoid things or collect stuff.

And, as always, this is war. There’s nothing cooler than collecting a fireball to launch at an opponent up ahead, and it’s almost more fun than winning. Still winning garners points, which can be used for upgrades necessary to perform better and unlock tougher challenges.

Pretty tidy.

There are opportunities to use real cash (such as ad removal), and the game is fairly self-contained.

The game is very sonic-y, in that it is just what Sonic and Sega fans should like: high octane arcade racing with plenty of obstacles and weaponized collectibles. This isn’t just about getting from point A to point B the fastest; it’s about deft touch and blasting other competitors to point C. It is familiar, but mostly manages to be fun, and is great for furtive episodes and maybe even longer stretches of play when required. The simple personalizations increase its potential likability, and by not straying too far from its source, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle probably increases its value the most… even across age groups.

Crane your neck and take a look at the new tasks and vehicles featured in Construction Simulator 2’s latest update

Crane your neck and take a look at the new tasks and vehicles featured in Construction Simulator 2’s latest update

Dec 8, 2017

Whether you prefer doing your digging at a break-neck pace or the speed of a snail, Construction Simulator 2’s newest update accommodates all building styles, adding in more vehicles to control and missions to undertake. Available now as a free download for IOS and Android players, there’s plenty of new reasons to keep on trucking.

Sure to please players who have already got to grips with the game’s existing heavy duty vehicles, Construction Simulator 2 now touts well over 40 thanks to the addition of two new license partners: The US American truck manufacturer Mack Trucks and machine producer’s MEILLER Kipper. Both brands join the likes of Caterpillar, Liebherr, Palfinger, Kenworth, Bell Equipment, STILL and ATLAS, better bringing players closer to the life of a construction worker.

The new update also adds plenty of new tasks and projects in which to put pedal to the medal and try out these new building beasts, the perfect opportunity to prove your mother trucking prowess. Those looking to get their forklift fix can also rest comfortably knowing that Construction Simulator 2 replaces its original unit with a real STILL® RX60-80 forklift. So, strap in and load up!


Last up to the line is a special treat for Android enthusiasts, with the update adding in an experimental external controller support into the game. Construction Simulator 2 has always been about bringing you closer to the grit, and now by linking up a game pad to your smartphone or tablet, the OS will be cleaned up to do just that.

Construction Simulator 2’s jam-packed update has already touched down, available now for IOS and Android players.

My App Addiction: Nova Launcher

My App Addiction: Nova Launcher

Dec 7, 2017

There’s no way you’ve been on Android for more than a fortnight and not heard of it. Come on. You either insanely love this application… or you know someone who does.

What does Nova Launcher do? Well, think of it as a replacement for the underlying UI that allows you to interact with — and launch stuff on — your device. You know… that software veneer that you work with to get to stuff. Every device in every OS has a stock option built in.

On a platform like Android where customization is a trademark, Nova Launcher is especially valued. The same attribute that allow Android to be so easy to get into — the diversity of product — also leads to a major complaint.

IOS devices noted have UI consistency. Pick up an Android device from Samsung, and another from LG, and you’ll see that they each have different UI flavors from an HTC or BlackBerry or whoever makes the device. Every manufacturer has it’s own concept, and if you’re even a little OCD, this can wreak havoc on your emotions.

Nova Launcher is an option that can provide consistency.for those that crave it.

Basically, you can install the app across all your Android devices, and have them all look and feel the same. Further, you get the full library of custom Nova customizations available across devices.

For someone like me, the benefits are numerous. One, I have a pretty unique homescreen that I have honed for years. It uses a lot of hidden icons and file groups, such that this arrangement is somewhat of a second security layer. Nova Launcher (plus several other tools) allows me to have this setup, but also allows me to have the same setup on all devices, including on AMIDuOS on my Windows tablet. Having the same setup boosts my productivity.

Look, I’ve done my good deed for the season. Check the free trial out, and get the paid version. Put it in your family library. Boom. Just did your Christmas shopping for you too.

You’re welcome.